Naruto in a nutshell is about a young screw-up orphan who is determined to become the Hokage (leader and most powerful ninja in the village) of The Hidden Leaf Village.
Naruto is a very fun read because Naruto starts off as a weak and incompatent fool. As time progresses, he slowly becomes very powerful. It is a very slow progression so it seems more realistic. Also, unlike some other manga/animes even weak characters can beat stronger ones. In Dragonball and Bleach only the main characters could beat someone important, but this is not always the case in Naruto.
The story in ridiculously deep and in depth. The same goes for the characters. Every character fits into the story very well and have deep pasts. It is very easy to understand why characters act and behave the way they do. They help to develop the plot. Some questions raised in the first couple of chapters are not answered until Chapter 592, and the explanations come periodically, slowly giving away little by little. The story of Itachi and Sasuke brought tears to my eyes when I finally found out the whole truth. There are some feel good stories, but there are also many stories of pain and suffering about growing up in the war ridden world of shinobi (ninja).
The art is very good, and always shows what is happening. It is not the greatest artwork in the world, but it is really good.
The story starts off somewhat slow compared to the latter chapters, but it is constantly setting up the future plot, and it makes the manga as a whole much better.
If you are looking for a manga (or anime) that is action packed, inspirational, funny, romantic (at times), sad, exciting, or just really interesting then Naruto is for you.
I could go on and on about the many great aspects of Naruto. People love to bash Naruto all the time, and I just don't see why. Go in with an open mind and you will love this manga.